Vistara, the new Tata airline takes off !

Some 80 years after J R D Tata flew his first mail service flight, another historic event is on the calendar, when the Airbus A320 aircraft of Vistara, a full-service joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, took off on its maiden flight from Delhi to Mumbai. This marks Tata's re-entry into the airline business, though the Tatas own a 30 percent stake in AirAsia India. In the mid '90s the Tata group made several unsuccessful attempts to launch an airline in partnership with Singapore Airlines. The group also in 2007 took a six percent stake in SpiceJet which it sold over the years. It also expressed an interest in teaming up with an entrepreneur to bid for Air Sahara, but a deal did not materialise and Jet Airways eventually purchased the airline. Vistara too, encountered some minor bumps in its pre-launch phase with private airlines lobbying against its approval and delays in security permits. The Federation of Indian Airlines went to court saying the new policy allowed foreign airlines to invest in existing carriers, while Vistara was a start-up. The government rejected the opposition.